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Editorial director role for JP newsroom scheme pioneer

Graeme HustonAn editor seconded to oversee a regional publisher’s Northern Irish titles has been given the role on a permanent basis.

Graeme Huston, pictured left, has officially been appointed by Johnston Press as its editorial director for the Northern Ireland publishing unit, having worked in the position on an interim basis since May.

Graeme, who edited the Derbyshire Times, crossed the Irish Sea as part of JP’s plan to introduce its ‘Newsroom of the Future’ initiative in Ulster.

The Times was part of JP’s first publishing area, the North Midlands and South Yorkshire, to adopt the initiative, which sees journalists working across multiple titles within the same region.

In an announcement to staff, Warren Butcher, JP’s managing director for Northern Ireland, said: “Graeme has brought a depth of knowledge and experience with regards to NotF.

“With him assuming this role on a permanent basis it creates continuity and provides confidence that we will deliver the implementation of this exciting transition smoothly and effectively.

“His direct involvement and leadership will ensure we are successful and able to build on the strong publishing reputation we have across Northern Ireland.”

Northern Irish editors reporting to Graeme include Valerie Martin, group editor weeklies, William Allen, group editor and David Wilson, digital editor.

Belfast News Letter editor Rankin Armstrong, who is due to retire this autumn, will also report to him.

Graeme pent 10 years working in Scotland as assistant editor and deputy editor of the Edinburgh Evening News, and also worked for the Daily Record before moving to South Yorkshire to become editor-in-chief of South Yorkshire Newspapers.

After eight years in this role he was appointed group editor of Wilfred Edmunds Newspapers, based in Chesterfield, which includes the Times.

Said Graeme: “It’s been a very busy first few months where I’ve had a warm welcome from the very talented newsroom and commercial teams in Northern Ireland.

“I’ve been so impressed that I had no hesitation in making this more permanent move from England and I’m delighted to have such a fantastic opportunity.

“I’m very sorry to be leaving my colleagues in NMSY, whose talent and hard work made the Newsroom of the Future pilot a success, and where I had great support from the management team.

“However, there are exciting times ahead for Northern Ireland and I can’t wait to get started.”

In Graeme’s absence Nancy Fielder has served as acting group editor of JP’s North Midlands titles, including the Times, supported by Ashley Booker as acting head of content, Peaks, and Andy Done Johnson as acting content editor, Notts.

The announcement did not mention whether their roles will also become permanent.

5 comments

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  • October 5, 2015 at 9:12 am
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    ‘Exciting’ is not the word I associate with JP, though it crops up a lot in these reports of the company’s inevitable demise.

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  • October 5, 2015 at 9:29 am
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    I trust “the very talented newsroom and commercial teams in Northern Ireland” appreciate the full effect of JP’s “newsroom of the future” in the run-up to Christmas. HTFP watchers will also be keeping a keen eye on the situation.

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  • October 5, 2015 at 10:15 am
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    No matter what we think of JP, Husto is a top journalist.

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  • October 5, 2015 at 10:32 am
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    Good luck, I hope your first job isnt cost saving, making people redundant won’t be fun for anyone.

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  • October 6, 2015 at 10:17 am
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    Newsroom of the future; One picture editor dealing with sent-in smudges and one content editor processing (notice I did not say re-writing) sent in crap copy.
    Accountants dream come true.

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